Ahhh...the publishing story. Gather round and make yourself comfortable.
It all started because of boredom (if you don't want the "how I started writing bit" - skip to the next paragraph) Fresh out of Penn State with a meteorology degree I landed a job doing environmental consulting (air quality). Consulting work is either feast or famine and during slow times I started writing science fiction and fantasy short stories. Most unpublishable and none sold - but a guest speaker at a local writer's con thought I had potential. So I continued to write short stories. After my son was born, I had the idea for Poison Study and thought, Why not? Maybe short fiction isn't my thing. So I joined a local critique group and started submitting a chapter a month - meanwhile I had my daughter - and all that goes with a newborn. Five years after I started the novel, it was finished and went through two years of revisions.
Poison Study (PS) was my first novel written and published. I submitted it to agents first. Collected a stack of rejects - got one interested enough to suggest revisions - only to reject the project in the end. Started writing a middle grade novel titled Storm Watcher (SW). Submitted PS to publishers - aimed high - sent to Bantam, Tor, Roc/Ace etc... Rejections rolled in. Targeted small presses.
Meanwhile finished and revised SW and began sending that to agents. PS gets an editor interested at a small press - he calls for more info - sounds so promising......No - boss won't approve purchase. :( Those rejections are harder to take than the form letter - decide that fiction writing must not be my thing - change tactics - kids will be in school all day and I have to do something to earn an income and stay at home - I target nonfiction projects - send queries for articles in all the local magazines. I apply to Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate school, hoping I could teach at the local college with a degree. I put in for a nonfiction book for a local company that wants to write a history of their plant. This was all in June 03 (2 years after I started submitting PS). Oh and I keep submitting PS to markets (one to Luna - a new fantasy imprint of Harlequin). Why? A certain stubborn determination to hit every market before I put the novel away for good. I kept sending SW to agents, too.
All is quiet for the entire summer and into fall. Perhaps nonfiction isn't my thing..... October 2003 - I get an agent for SW - she'll start submitting it to publishers for me - Yay! - Luna calls and offers me a two-book contract for Poison and Magic Study (not written at that point) - YAY!!! - I get a letter from Seton Hill that I'm accepted to the program - Yay! - The editor of the local magazine emails and loves all my article ideas and she assigns me 4 articles to write for the magazine - Yay? - I get assigned to write the book about the history of the local factory with a historian - Oh Sh...t!
To use a cliché - my ships came in and they didn't stop coming until the port was full and I was waving the other boats away. LOL! I've just recently found a small press publisher for SW, and I've managed to sell some of my short stories.
The moral of my story – Don’t give up! Keep writing and keep submitting and eventually your port will fill up and you’ll be cruising the waters of publication.
Fire Study, the third in the Study series, continues Yelena Zaltana’s adventures. When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. As the Council debates Yelena’s fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before.
Publisher's Weekly said of Fire Study: “Fans of high-spirited adventure, intrigue and romance will celebrate the third book in the saga of reluctant mage and diplomat Yelena Zaltana…Snyder delivers another excellent adventure, deftly balancing international and local hostilities against Yelena's personal struggles.”
You can find me at my website www.mariavsnyder.com, my MySpace page www.myspace.com/mariavsnyder, or at my MySpace blog http://blog.myspace.com/mariavsnyder.
-Maria V. Snyder
Also, coming from Maria V. Snyder in 2008:
Storm Glass (tentatively scheduled for December 2008).
"As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it’s time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan’s glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal’s unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she never knew she possessed...powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she’s ever known.”
PATHS TO PUBLICATION, Heidi Ruby Miller, Maria V. Snyder, Fire Study, LUNA, fantasy, Poison Srudy, writing, author interviews, Seton Hill Writers, Seton Hill University